Investment totalling nearly £400million in Staffordshire business developments since 2014 will lead to the creation of over 13,000 jobs on schemes completed as part of the county council’s growth programme.
A report published today states that since 2014, economy boosting projects with a total value of £383million have been completed, are under construction or being planned. Of this total, some £56million of direct investment will come from the county council. This means that for every £1 invested by the county council an additional £15 is levered in from the private sector or from the Government.
The number of small businesses with fewer than 49 employees in Staffordshire is growing and makes up 96 per cent of all businesses in the county. Larger businesses account for 55 per cent of employment in Staffordshire, reinforcing their role in the local economy. Staffordshire has seen near full employment for some time with just one per cent of the local population claiming unemployment benefits. This is lower than both regional and national averages.
In addition to its business development investment, the county council has continued to develop its business support programme. This includes the delivery of the Stoke-on-Trent and Staffordshire Growth Hub on behalf of the Local Enterprise Partnership. The hub has helped more than 4,300 local companies since it was set up in 2014.
Successful development schemes have included i54 South Staffordshire, Redhill Business Park in Stafford and Kingswood Lakeside in Cannock. The county council is also supporting development at Branston Locks near Burton and Bericote Four Ashes in South Staffordshire.
Staffordshire County Council’s economic growth leader Mark Winnington said: “Staffordshire’s economy is in healthy shape and this report demonstrates how far we have come in a relatively short time. We have seen considerable investment in the last three years which has seen significant returns and will result in the creation of thousands of jobs.
“It is a county council priority to do all we can to create the right conditions for businesses to grow and thrive. As figures suggest, employment is fairly evenly distributed across large and small businesses and so it is important that we promote a mixed and balanced economy.
“We have established a number of good quality employment sites with more in the pipeline which gives us a strong basis to make the most of Government funding opportunities. We are continuing to support businesses of all sizes and attract new investment and look forward to building on our successes into 2018.”
The economic growth capital and development programme report will be discussed by the county council’s Prosperous Staffordshire Select Committee next Friday December 15.